Thu, Jan 04, 2018 - Page 13 News List

Movie Review: On Happiness Road

Part history lesson and part tear-jerking drama, this colorful animation encapsulates Taiwan over the past 40 years while exploring what it means to be happy

By Han Cheung  /  Staff Reporter

The dialogue will be immediately relatable to most Taiwanese as Chi struggles to fulfill her parents’ expectations well into her 30s. But connecting the Taiwanese perspective to the world is the general theme of happiness, hence the film name. Chi has gone from a poor family who believes that having enough to eat equals happiness to achieving the American Dream, but she is still not happy. As she looks back at all the influences that shaped her life, things begin to make some sense.

Even though rooted in reality, the animation is playful as we frequently visit Chi’s dreams, imaginations and fears. The captivating illustrations are the finishing touches to the excellent story and history lesson, adding a sense of the magical to the tale that might otherwise fall a bit on the gloomy side. Her dead grandmother also frequently appears to help her out at times, topping off the fantastical elements that make this film truly a gem.

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